Thursday, October 20, 2011

Swiss Labels

Swiss products usually have a little Swiss flag on them, which makes it easy to support the producers of food in this wonderful little country.  Did you know there was such a thing as Alpine salt?  Some day, we'll visit the salt mines at Bex and see what it is all about.

Naturally, there are beautiful scenes of the Swiss countryside on many of the packages.  This one has a little ibex in it.  Other wild animals of the Swiss mountains are the chamois, the mountain goat, the roe deer, the elk, the marmot, and the recently reintroduced lynx.  Wild wolves, which were wiped out in Switzerland long ago, have begun to migrate back into Switzerland from Alpine Italy.

The Terrasuisse label means that a food was produced by a nature and animal-friendly Swiss farmer, thereby encouraging biodiversity.

I find it hard to resist any food which has a picture of Heidi on the label.

This is the half and half which I put in my coffee every morning.  Printed on the back of the Heidi products is a quote from the book....

"'Oh!  The cute little creatures!  Oh!  The pretty little cats!'  she repeated over and over, jumping around the basket...."

Tete de Moine is a strong cheese which has been cut into long delicate slices which ruffle together like a flower bud.  "Tete de moine" means "monk's head."

Mmmmm...fromage blanc.  I'm going have to learn how to make it!

Jambon cru is a wonderful, tender, salty, cured raw ham, sliced thinly, like prosciutto.  There is the beautiful castle in Gruyere on this label.

I also adore all the Swiss cows I see in meadows on the mountainsides, and in paddocks sprinkled in neighborhoods and villages everywhere, and love them on the milk labels.

This is a picture of a Swiss race of milk cows, the Brown Swiss.  There is a another race of cows, the Hèrèns, which fight to establish the heirarchy of the herd.  I haven't seen a cow fight yet, but festivals are held in the Valais region to watch the cows push one another back and forth until one is declared queen of the herd.  It is hard to imagine, and it sounds kind of funny, especially since if a cow isn't in the mood to fight it is alright if she just stands there or walks away.  There is also a cow race in Flumersburg every October.  Some of the cows actually do run, and some walk because that's as fast as they go. That also would be something to see!


nunu said...

love the heidi products! i've never seen those. you are so lucky.

Beth said...

Hi, Anushka, I FEEL lucky, too! Next on my reading list: Heidi in French! I can't wait! love, Beth

softearthart said...

Hi Beth, the graphics are so cool, a buyers heaven of visuals. cheers Marie

Francesca said...

Oh how I love first encounter was as a child with the Japanese tv cartoon then granny Ondina gave me the real book. How lovely!!! And all of those alps and good milk!!!Thanks for sharing!

Beth said...

Yes,'s fun to discover a whole new world of products and colorful labels. I saw a tiny bit of the Heidi cartoon on the train to Jungfraujoch earlier this week, Francesca...I didn't know it existed until then. I'll have to see what languages are available. I can't wait to read it. I keep imagining myself in a mountain hut, sleeping in the hay and drinking fresh milk and waking up to see the mountains out the window. I can't talk anyone else in the family to go try it! Beth

Amanda said...

I wonder if there is a craft idea lurking in all those beautiful labels? Something that you can keep with you after you return to the states. I'm sure you'll come up with something beautiful!


Bonnie said...

These labels are absolutely charming! If I was visiting Switzerland, I imagine I would be bringing back all sorts of labels from food products to put in a scrapbook. I am really loving reading this blog! Maybe someday I will get to travel to Switzerland!